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The town is 30 km. southwest of Chełm and 31 km. north of Zamość.
It's also 52 km. SE of Lublin. The first mention of Krasnystaw Jews is in 1548.
However Jewish merchants were visiting the town before that, in the 15th century.
In 1394, Krasnystaw was granted the status of town, gaining economic advantages,
including the right to set up a weekly market and three fairs a year. Rapid growth was due
mainly to trade connections with Danzig (Gdansk), which took place over the Wieprz River,
which spills into the Wisla River. Through the river, the town became a station for barges
loaded with grain, wood, and commercial goods. In 1569 there were 339 wood houses.
From the beginning, the Krasnystaw Jewish community was struck with antisemitism in town.
From 1554 to 1862 there was a ban on Jewish settlement there. It wasn't until 1862 that bans
on Jewish residency were removed from the town. Still, some Jews managed to reside there.
In 1827, 11 Jews are recorded as living in the town. By 1857, the number grew to 151 Jews
out of around 3,500 total residents (or four percent). Out of 4,750 residents in 1897, 25 percent
-- or 1,176 -- were Jewish. Eighty percent of the local trade was produced by the Jewish
community. By 1921, the community had around 8,500 residents, including 1,754 Jews. In 1917,
of 24 councilors on the Krasnystaw town council, 3 Jews were among them: Chaim Bergerman,
Icek Hochman and Judka Rozenblat. There was an active Zionist movement in town, and many
Jews in town supported the Agudat Israel organization, led by Abram Szok. The Agudath Israel
board included: Chaim Apozdawer, Abram Baum, Bencjan Halpern, Lipa Rajchman, Hersz Sztamer,
Jakub Tregier, Abus Warman, Mendel Warszmiler. Lipa Rajchman was also on the town council
at various points. The Josef Trumpeldor Association of Jewish Scouts had 54 members. The Labor
Bund in town was run by Abram Zygielbaum. The Communist Party of Poland, managed by
Ruchla Frydman, a dressmaker, also had a branch in Krasnystaw. In town, a Merchant Loan Bank
was operated by Szmul Perelmuter. A Mercantile Credit Bank led by Icek Zygelszyper was opened
in 1926. The Bruder Hilf Charity Association, which provided financial support in the form of interest-
free and short-term loans, had 25 members. Toward the end of 1917, the Association of Jewish
Tailors and Shoemakers, which had 40 craftsmen, was formed in Krasnystaw.
A bookstore, situated at Cerkiewny Square and owned by Chil Szolson, operated in Krasnystaw
from 1906. There were two typographic houses in the town; one was owned by Szolson and the
other by Rafal Kasner. The I. L. Perec library, which gathered about 500 Jewish and Hebrew books,
operated in Krasnystaw. Its founders were Mendel Rajchman and Mosze Prechter. Hadasa
Fajersztajn, who also helped with Zionist activity among Jewish girls, ran the library. In 1913, five
cheders, attended by 98 students, operated in the town. The first cheder, created in 1889, was
managed by L. Guterman and had 23 students. Other cheders were operated by U. Goldman,
who provided education to 22 boys; and P. B. Turobiner, who had 18 pupils. In 1892, F. Ajnwojnier
formed another, fourth, cheder with 23 students. The fifth cheder was established in the year 1904;
its owner was M. Berger and it had 23 students. In 1932, there were six cheders in Krasnystaw
attended by 73 Jewish boys. Other Jewish children attended a state public school. From 1921 to
1930, 319 students, including 79 children of Jewish origin (24.76% of all students), attended Primary
School No. 1 in Krasnystaw. Between the years 1930-1939, the school had 326 students (67 --
18.51% of Jewish descent). There were approximately 2,200 Jews living in Krasnystaw when the
war broke out, which represented 20% of the town's total population.
Some of the town residents are noted for their occupations: Feldman had a board yard; Cung --
bottling plants; Kozak -- a mill; Stucajger -- a shop with leather and tailor's products, Karp --
a fishing tackle shop; Rajchman -- a shoe shop for the elites; Pinker and Goldstein -- bakeries.
Lewkowicz owned a tailor's shop; Zontag -- a photographer's workshop; Zunger sold sweets and
drinks; Merenstein opened a grocery shop with alcohol; Fleszer traded in knick-knacks; Halpern
had a textile shop; Mandeltort had a photographer's workshop. The wealthiest residents were
those who ran mills. Szymon Lejba owned a steam mill where he employed 11 workers. Milcia
Cypkiewicz opened a fashion school in 1913, and Bencion Kepfisz opened a wicker workshop.
Residents of the town who held positions within the community in 1930 included: grave-digger L.
Fogelfus; janitor J. Blumsztajn; secretary B. Buchbleter; school employee J. Sztunsajgier; synagogue
sextons M. Puterman, J. Sztundajgier; Rabbi Naftali Czerwon; cantor B. Frachter; and schochets
Majer Apozdawer and Jakob Langman. Prayer houses were operated by Szul Knobel,
Lejb Feldman, and Berek Zalcman.
On this page, we will also talk about several suburbs of Krasnystaw that were destroyed in the
Holocaust: Gorzkow, Krasniczyn, Siennica Rozanna, and Tarnogora.
In 1921, Gorzkow had a population of 434 Jews. In 1939, the number was likely between 500 and 800.
Jewish settlement took place in the 19th century. There was a Bet Midrash (religious school) and a
shochet (ritual slaughterer), who ruled on religious matters and taught the children. At the beginning
of 1940, a Judenrat was established in town, led by Izrael Edelsztajn and Chaim Kajzman. Additional
Judenrat members included Josef Kajzman, Leib Goldstein, Zindel Honigman (a hero of the Holocaust),
Mattias Orland, Szlomo Cymerman, Daniel Wasser, Ajzyk Farber, and Meir Merensztajn. In the spring
of 1940, and again at the beginning of 1942, Jews from Gorzkow were sent to slave labor at Belzec,
which was at that time still a labor camp. Young men from the village were sent to slave labor at
Trawniki. In May or November of 1942, the Germans assembled the Jews of Gorzkow and the nearby
villages in the market square, and they were marched 12 km. to the Izbica transit ghetto -- the
assembly point for all the Jews of the area. In the autumn of 1942, and the start of 1943, all the
inhabitants of the Izbica ghetto were sent to the gas chambers at Belzec death camp.
Krasniczyn, another nearby town, had 116 inhabitants in 1676 and the Jewish population built their
houses mainly at the back of the eastern side of the market, where there was also a synagogue. In 1734,
a fire in Krasniczyn destroyed the house of prayer, mikvah, and nine houses located in the vicinity of
the market. In 1756, there were 14 Jewish properties (with houses) in the town. Fifty Catholic and 24
Jewish houses were in Krasniczyn in 1777. In 1910, the settlement had a wooden synagogue for
approximately 300 people, mikvah and a Jewish cemetery. The synagogue district included the
villages of Anielpol, Boncza, Brzeziny, Drewniki, Czajki, Majdan Surhowski, Surhow, and Wojciechow.
Historic sources list the names of some of the residents of Krasniczyn. In 1910, these included
Abram Borek, Abram Cukier, Sara Cukier, Berko Cukier, Lajla Aizenberg, Jankiel Blat, Frankel
Bubiel, Moszko Tuchman, Tapchip Aizenberg (age 38), Jankiel Warman, Herszko Rajc (age 38),
Szmul Gros, Abram Fiterman, Herszko Tuchman, Abram Hersz Zimner (age 50), and Rabbi Rafal Kliger.
The following Jews lived in nearby villages of synagogue district: Benjamin Zilbersztajn from Uchanie,
who lived in Anielpol; Simcha Sziblowicz in Boncza, Majer Szmul Blat from Izbica, in Brzeziny;
Majer Lichter from Izbica in Drewniki; Szloma Ehrlich and Chaim Goldfarb in Krasniczyn; Szloma
Gdala Blatt and Abram Mangiel in Surhow; Berek Taj in Majdan Surhowski; and Lejzer Bergier from
Grabowiec and Wulf Litman from Izbica in Folwark Wojciechow.
Krasniczyn had 610 inhabitants in 1921 and 540 of them (83%) were Jews. There were five cheders
in the town. The Jews owned most of the shops and craft workshops (tailoring, leather stitching),
as well as slaughterhouses, bakeries, hulling mills and a small furniture factory. Occupations in town
during the pre-war period included: Hersz Fuks and C. Samet in groceries and S. Apel in egg selling;
the Becher and Lichtensztajn families had slaughterhouses; Icek Goldwasser, the wealthiest man in
town, had a haberdashery, as did G. Cukier, B. Szydlowicz, Sz. Zymner, and J. Sylberman. Ready-
made suits were created by H. Moskal and L. Rubinsztajn. Mr. Fuks had carbonated waters.
Processed grains were sold by B. Becher, Sz. Fuks, and Sz. Gros, and leathers by S. Klajner,
D. Zylberman, and Ch. Goldbard. Crop trade was conducted by J. Becker and M.J. Blat; cattle trade
by A. Cukier; forest exploration by A. Aszkenazy, J. Nirenblat, and M. Becher. A tailor shop was run by
Ch. Birbaum, A. Gros, N. Helfman, K. Lederman, D. Moskal, and H. Moskal. A bakery was run
by J. Cukier; a glazier shoppe by Mr. Warman; and a leather-stitchery shoppe by Aron Zimner.
After the outbreak of the Shoah, the Krasniczyn Ghetto was established in 1940. In nearby
Surhow, a labor camp for Jews from Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Czech Republic,
was established. The camp was formed with the purpose of regulating and meliorating the
Wojslawka River. It was dissolved in August 1942 and the imprisoned Jewish slave laborers
were deported to the gas chambers at the Belzec Death Camp.
While only 500 Jews originated in the Krasniczyn Ghetto, by March 1941 the number became close
to 1,000 when 500 Jews were transported from Czechoslovakia to the Krasniczyn Ghetto. But by
April, the number again decreased after the transport to Belzec. Additionally, 200 Jews from Izbica
came to the Krasniczyn Ghetto in April 1942 and approximately 1,000 Jews from the Third Reich
on April 28, 1942. Another group of Jews was deported to Krasniczyn on May 3, 1942.
In May 1942 the German military police gathered 327 Jews in front of the school building. Afterward,
they were driven on foot to Krasnystaw (17 kilometers from Krasniczyn) from where they were
transported by a train to the gas chambers at Belzec. The Krasniczyn Ghetto was liquidated in June
of 1942. The Germans killed 200 Jews on the local cemetery and those who survived were driven
on foot to Izbica from where they were taken to the gas chambers at Sobibor Death Camp.
Among those who were forced to walk to Izbica were: Icek Goldwaser, village administrator,
Nuta Helfman and Rabbi Szmuel Oselka with his wife. After the Jews from Krasniczyn had been
deported, the Germans destroyed all Jewish properties, together with the synagogue.
The Nazis captured Krasnystaw on September 14, 1939. A ghetto was established and the 1,690
Jews living in Krasnystaw as well as some Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia, were forced
into the ghetto in August 1940. The ghetto had 2,000 prisoners in 1942, including Jews from Grodziec,
Rzgow, and Skulsk that had been sent there on March 9, 1941. The Krasnystaw Judenrat was
established at the beginning of 1940. Judenrat members consisted of: Lipe Bloch, Issachar Rozenbojm,
Alter Katz, David Zylbercan, and Avigdor Feldman. Michael Szolson, a prominent leader of the
Krasnystaw community who also was on the Judenrat, was among the first Jews deported and
murdered at Sobibor after Judenrat chairman Lipe Bloch and him got into a dispute. His date of death
is May 15, 1942. Most members of the Jewish police were friends or relatives of Judenrat members.
The Jewish police included Bencion Rosenblatt, Moshe Szmaragd, Josef Zylbercan, and Zanwel Mittelman.
Near the Borek Forest, the Nazis operated a labor camp which housed Jews deported from
Czechoslovakia to Krasnystaw. Almost all of them were executed there. In May of 1942, almost
3,000 residents of Turobin, Poland were relocated to Krasnystaw and
subsequently taken to the Sobibor Death Camp.
On April 12, 1942, as many as 600 Jews living in Krasnystaw ghetto were expelled to Izbica together
with Jews from nearby communities, such as Siennica Rozana, Rybczeice, and Krasniczyn.
On 16 April 1942, Salomon Griffen, head of the JSS in Fajslawice, reported the 220 Jews in his
municipality, half of them employed at a German estate, were unscathed by the deportation, which had
impacted on Jews in every town and settlement in the Kreis and in the neighbouring Lopiennik Gorny
and Rybczewice municipalities. The deportees were probably marched directly to the Izbica railway
station and then sent to be gassed at the Belzec death camp.
On June 18, 1942, Michal Szolsohn's deputy reported to JSS leaders in Krakow that no Jews that no
Jews remained in Krasniczyn, Wysokie, and Rudnik -- or in the Lopiennik, Rybczewice, and Zakrzew
municipalities. Jews in Krasnystaw were employed mainly in clearing possessions from the ghetto. Some
of the clearing squad was sent to the Trawniki labor camp, probably in late August 1942, when at the
same time agricultural workers were sent to the Sobibor death camp.
In October 1942 the Germans transferred remaining Krasnystaw Jews to the Izbica ghetto. Jews
in the Izbica transit ghetto were typically shot on the spot or relocated to Belzec's gas chambers.
The Jewish populations of Siennica Rozanna and Tarnogora in 1939 were approximately 150 Jews in
Siennica and between 100 and 200 Jews in Tarnogora. In March or April of 1942, 272 Jews from
Siennica Rozanna were sent to the gas chambers at Belzec.
In 1743, Jews were forbidden to settle in Tarnogora and in Izbica, and very few managed to circumvent
the prohibition. In 1759 one Jewish family was settled in Tarnogora, and towards the end of the 18th
century only 5 Jewish families were living there. Even after 1862, when the prohibition was cancelled
altogether in Poland, few Jews settled in Tarnogora because opportunities for earning a wage were
sparse. In the 1930s, antisemitic propaganda intensified in Tarnogora -- Jews were attacked in the
streets and Jewish peddlers passing through villages with their wares feared for their lives.
In March and April of 1942, thousands of Jews from the Tarnogora area were expelled to Belzec.
In 1941 the synagogue at 3 Czyste Street was destroyed. The Jewish cemetery on Chelm
Street, founded around 1890, still has between five and ten visible grave stones.
Please review the site content below. Zachor - We Remember.
[Surnames] [History] [Education & Culture]
[Organizations and Associations] [Wikipedia - Krasnystaw]
[Holocaust] [Borek Forest Labor Camp]
[Cemetery] [Synagogue] [Notable Residents]
[List of Martyrs (incomplete) from the Yizkor Book]
[Family Research in Southeast Poland]
Click to subscribe to Krasnystaw
Learn more at the Belzec Remembrance Project
Learn more at the Sobibor Remembrance Project
The Moskal family from Krasniczyn. All are Shoah victims.
Mechel Kanner, top row, 5th from left; Uri Szok, middle row, tall man in the center.
Meyer Ziefer, front right (on the ground); Meyer Drescher, immediately in front of Uri Szok.
A Jewish family from Gorzkow near Hrubieszow.
from Wierzbica, Dawid Hochman from Wierzbica, Szajndla Shochet, Yehoshua Erlich, Israel and Avraham Leichter, Manya Lang,
Hadassa Reichensztejn, and Yosel and Chanale Goldberg. Those whose towns are not mentioned were from Izbica.
Escapees from the Sobibor Death Camp, including several from Izbica near Krasnystaw.
Two Holocaust survivors from the Krasnystaw area, Arnold and Ester (Knobel) Tuzman, created
a fund hosted by Gratz College in Pennsylvania to help school educators teach about the Holocaust.
Contributions in their loving memories may be sent to the Arnold and Esther Tuzman Holocaust
Education Fund, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA 19027 or online.
Some houses in modern Krasnystaw.
Views of modern Krasnystaw.
View of modern Gorzkow, center of the city.
What is left of the Jewish cemetery in Gorzkow.
Join the Krasnystaw group on Facebook!
Town of Krasnystaw:
An account of Gorzkow during the Holocaust
Izbica near Krasnystaw
Photos of Krasnystaw Today
Families of Krasnystaw:
Majdan Tatarski Ghetto Victims (Lublin) from Krasnystaw and Gorzkow:
Chaja Rojza Cynamon
Hudla(?) Mirla Cynamon
Moszek Lejba Lejwand
Chana Bergajzen Nirenberg
(source: Brama Grodzka - Teatr NN)
Rabbis of Krasnystaw:
Josef Malowertaw, 1860
Yosef Reznik, cantor
Rafael Rozenzwajg, cantor
Survivors of Gorzkow:
Judel (Judka) Goldsztejn
Brucha Betty Honigman
Frida Sztuden (Shtuden)
Hershel Zimmerman (Harold Werner)
Survivors of Krasnystaw:
(includes people from Zolkiewka)
Nuchem Norman Adelsberg
Golde Fingerhut Blustein
Ber "Dov" Freiberg
Leibel Leon Feldhendler
Maria Binder Greber
Esther Knobel Tuzman
Raquel Lew de Latarowski
Irving Schock (Szok)
David Stundzeiger (video testimony)
David Szarf (Scharf)
Shalom Weitz (Wajc)
Pola Eisenstein Zacman (or Zalcman)
Jesse Eisenberg, American actor
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, American entrepreneur
- Jan Osiewicz hid the Knobel family of three
- Karol Olecha hid the Honigman family of four at Wielkopole
Krasnystaw During the Holocaust
Jewish Records Indexing Poland - Krasnystaw
Jewish Vital Records in the Polish State Archives
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Gorzkow
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin: Krasnystaw
Remember Your Family:
The DNA Shoah Project: Connecting Descendants
Central Judaica Database - Museum of History of Polish Jews
Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors on Facebook
Guide to the YIVO Archives
Holocaust News/Events from Generations of the Shoah Int'l
Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database
JewishGen Family Finder
JewishGen Holocaust Database
JRI-Poland: Search for Your Family
Museum of History of Polish Jews Introduction
Yad Vashem: Search for Your Family
Yad Vashem: Submit Names of Your Family Members
Yad Vashem Requests Photos of Shoah Survivors and Families
U.S.: Aaron, LublinJewish@gmail.com